Disaster-hit Tonga enters first-ever pandemic lockdown
Tonga locked down Wednesday after two COVID-19 cases were confirmed in Nuku’alofa, the capital of the Pacific island nation that's still reeling from last month's deadly volcanic eruption and tsunami.
Why it matters: The country entered its first pandemic lockdown having only previously recorded one coronavirus infection. Communications have yet to be fully restored and businesses and homes still have no internet following the Jan. 15 disaster, per local newspaper Matangi Tonga.
Driving the news: Prime Minister Siaosi Sovaleni said Tuesday two wharf workers who'd been helping distribute aid from ships had tested positive, the Matangi Tonga reports.
- New pandemic measures include school and border closures and bans on large gatherings and inter-island travel, Sovaleni said.
- Officials were working to determine the outbreak's source and examining "the record of ships that had been here at a time that could have spread this virus," Sovaleni added.
- The ship has been "stranded at Nuku’alofa since last week" due to a power outage, the New York Times notes.